Now here’s something special, one of my favorite desserts from my “bachpan” - my childhood… Kalakand! Bringing this memory with me into the kitchen, I wanted to recreate that magic for Diwali, so I decided to renew the kalakand by giving a fun little spin and turning it into this beautiful free tart…

Its a modern interpretation of the traditional Indian sweet which is so so easy and quick to make recipe, away from rustling for hours in the kitchen traditionally.

Diwali and sweets are two things that go hand in hand - barfis, laddoos and many other desserts are what we first think of when we think of festive desserts. However, my story’s a bit different…when I was younger, everyone would enjoy the traditional desserts, but my dad would always make it a point to treat me to my favorite kalakand on Diwali! When I recount my memories of Diwali in my early childhood, amongst the precious memories of watching fireworks, lighting diyas and having a great time with my family and friends, the distinct delicious taste of kalakand remains with me. It was something super special just for me - the milky, creamy taste and delicate grainy texture of the khoya was such a divine experience, and in this tart, the crumbly crust alongside the rich Indian flavours of saffron, pistachio, cardamom and rose petals really rejuvenate my memories.

I'm also providing a gluten-free alternative!

Do give it a try this Diwali and give your festivities a modern touch!


PREP TIME: 15-20 minutes

BAKING TIME: 15-18 minutes

COOKING TIME: 12- 15 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 50 minutes



For normal tart pastry:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour

  • 250g unsalted butter, cold and diced

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar

  • 6 to 7 tbsp chilled water

For gluten-free tart pastry (check Cook's Notes)*

  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup almond flour

  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup ghee, slightly condensed

  • 1/4 tsp almond essence

  • 3 to 4 tbsp chilled water

For kalakand:

  • 425g ricotta cheese (full fat)

  • 395g condensed milk

  • 1/3 cup milk powder (full fat)

  • 1/4 tsp green cardamom powder

  • 1/2 tbsp sliced pistachios

For garnishing:

  • 125ml whipping cream

  • 1 1/2 tbsp confectioners sugar

  • Pinch of saffron

  • 1 tbsp sliced pistachios

  • 1/2 tbsp sliced almonds

  • Dried rose petals

Equipment needed:

  • 6x4.5” flan tart tins

  • Ceramic Baking Beans/ dried Chickpeas/ dried kidney beans, for baking the pastry


For Tart:

  1. To make the pastry add flour, salt, sugar and butter in a stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, blend everything together until the mixture resembles like bread crumbs, just for two 2 minutes. While the mixer is still on, add chilled water using a tablespoon at a time. Blend for just a minute or until the dough starts forming into a ball.

  2. Transfer the dough on bench top and knead lightly with gentle hands to combine it together, taking care not to over-work the dough.

  3. Divide the dough in 6 pieces, shape them into slightly flat balls. Wrap it in cling film individually and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place the empty baking sheet in the oven and preheat it for 30 minutes at 200°C.

  4. Remove cling wrap from the dough and place between two large parchment sheets. Roll it out to 3mm thickness, cut into six 6-inch wide circles, lift carefully and transfer on to flan tins.

  5. Using the fingers, press the pastry gently against the edges of tin and trim off any excess. Score the pastry with fork. Cover them with a sheet of baking paper, drop the ceramic baking beans on the paper to put weight and stopping the p